The Common Good

Time Magazine (online)

Time Magazine (online) Press Items
“Evangelicals finally realize that how we treat the stranger, these 11 million undocumented people, is how we treat Christ himself,” said Jim Wallis, the president and founder of Sojourners, a Christian social justice organization.
There is an ancient idea that we have lost, but can and should find again. It’s called simply the common good. It goes back many centuries, but the need for a new dialogue about what it means and what its practice would require of us has never seemed more critical. Our politics have become so polarized and increasingly volatile; and our political institutions have lost the public trust. Few Americans today would suggest their political leaders are serving the common good. Read more:
Christian leaders—including Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, an organization of Christian activists, National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson, Sister Simone Campbell, and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference —formed a group called “Circle of Protection” last year to combat poverty, pledging their efforts for “fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice” and for resisting “budget cuts that undermaine the lives, dignity, and rights of poor and vulnerable people.” Obama’s and Romney’s videos are available on Sojourner’s website.
Mahony is hardly the only religious leader outraged by Arizona's approach to immigration, which requires police to ask for papers from anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. The progressive Evangelical leader Jim Wallis has declared the state's new law a social and racial sin. The president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society declared that by passing the law, Arizona has taken itself out of the mainstream of American life. And Mahony's Catholic colleague the bishop of Tucson has suggested that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) join lawsuits challenging the law.
Leviticus 19:33: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong... [he] shall be as native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Progressive Evangelical leader Jim Wallis refers to this as "the Levitical immigration policy." It reaches deep into Judaism's Exodus saga for its justification. The Israelites were (legal) immigrants in Egypt, but the Egyptians persecuted them when their numbers seemed too threatening; God brought down the plagues. Thus the verse is a warning to Jews never to turn into the Egyptians; a role Salvatierra and her colleagues feel Americans are now perilously close to playing.